Qabale Duba Foundation (QDF) is a community organization that is championing for the right of girls/women in northern Kenya. The aim of the foundation is to promote the development of pastoralist’s communities through facilitating their access to education, health, social services and economic empowerment. This is done through building on women’s and youths aspirations and achievements as far as possible.
Qabale Duba Foundation realises that even small steps can greatly improve self-confidence and social capital for these groups. The activities and interventions put in in the implementation of the programs, considers the issues that affect women and youths at different stages of their lives. In particular, our programs are developed to ensure clear understanding of the motivations and possibilities for girls/women and young people who are the entry point for ensuring the sustainability of pastoralism as a valuable and sustainable way of life.
While working with women and youths in the community, we look at their daily roles and aspirations in their households and communities, especially in relation to education, Women empowerment, Maternal health and women/youths as agent of peace in the society. Qabale Duba Foundation's strategy is to work with these groups to create awareness that women and youth are the pillar in every society so they should not be left out.
QDF has Five major programs that include;
1. GIRLS/WOMEN EMPOWERMENT- This is mostly done through provision of sanitary towels and undergarment, under the program named Pads and Pants (PAPA). PAPA project is to help girls in rural villages have access to sanitary pads and panties to avoid them miss classes or drop out of school due to the lack of this basic necessities. Many organisations who also does similar project of donating sanitary pads only give to the school girls. Therefore QDF thought that just focusing on girls alone can't solve the problem because the girls go home to share those pads with their mothers and sisters who have not gone to school and have no access to the pads. Hence the problems of girls missing classes or even dropping out of schools continues. So we are trying to help both girls and women in remote villages through donations of reusable pads and panties. Our aim is to avoid any girl drop out of school due to lack of sanitary pad . On the other hand also to put smiles on the faces of the innocent women in remote villages who have been using pieces of clothes, mattresses, pieces of blankets etc when on their menses. Having a period has been a great shame to pastoralists women who can't leave the house to avoid soiling themselves in public. So QDF is bringing dignity to girls and pastoralists women through PAPA PROJECT. No matter the tribe, the location and age every woman deserve a dignified period.
2. MENTORSHIP PROGRAM - The mentorship program is where our motivational speakers visit different schools especially village schools to motivate students more specifically girls.This help the village girls believe in themselves that they can as well achieve their dreams. In our Mentorship program we work with young professionals from local communities to go around the schools to mentor students using their own life stories and successes. The mentorship program is for both primary and secondary schools, we not only motivate but also give the students career guidance. As part of mentorship program QDF does opportunity awareness outreaches to youths and school leavers, we motivate youths to try different available opportunities like scholarships, fellowships and also conferences both locally and abroad as well. We mentor youths to take part in entrepreneurship so that they can be able to create job for themselves and also other youths who are jobless.
3.MATERNAL HEALTH/SAFE MOTHERHOOD - QDF does the advocacy for safe motherhood and also maternal health in general. We work closely with Traditional Birth Attendants(TBAs) to train them about safe deliveries and also urge them to help us advocate for hospital deliveries. On the other hand we work with women who got complications during deliveries like FISTULA among many others to help us pass the massage about danger of home deliveries and complications that might comes with. Our main aim is to eradicate foetal and maternal deaths that could have been prevented when deliveries are done in hospitals/health facilities. Patoralists women still very few of them deliver in a health facility hence this increase the danger of complications and also foetal and maternal deaths. Working with traditional birth attendants helps us trace the women at risk and also advocate for the need of antenatal care and hospital deliveries.
4. CHAMPIONING AGAINST HARMFUL CULTURAL PRACTICES
The communities in Marsabit county and entire upper eastern and northern Kenya still have got deep rooted culture which are undiluted. The preserved culture is what is making the pastoralists communities unique but on the other hand there are some harmful cultural practices that is still practiced. Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and Early/forced marriages are among the most harmful cultural practices that is done in all the cushitic communities of northern Kenya. As an organization that is championing for the right of pastoralist girls and women QDF is doing campaign against FGM and early marriages in entire marsabit county. The campaign is done from village to villages approach and also through radio shows where we publically discuss about the effects of FGM and the need of stopping it because its harmful to the health of the girls who undergo. Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) are the same women who does the FGM in the villages, therefore QDF is using these women to campaign against the act and also discuss with them about possible alternative rite of passages that can be used instead of FGM. 90% of the girls in pastoralist communities undergo FGM especially those uneducated that live in the villages, however QDF has decided to bridge the gap by reaching the unreached in the communities and empower them. The alternative way QDF is using to end/minimize early marriages is by advocating for the education of the girls even those that are in the remote villages.
5. PEACE INITIATIVES - QDF bridges the gap between warring communities in northern Kenya using women and youth as peace agents. This is done through yearly celebrations of international peace days in different areas which brings together different communities. we also do peace marathons, peace tournaments and peace mentorships among youths and women.
If you are willing to support or partner with us our contact details are found under contact us;
Facebook page ; Qabale Duba Foundation
email address ; qabalefoundation or firstname.lastname@example.org
The foundation is located in Marsabit County but will soon extend our programs to all other pastoralist and marginalized communities of northern Kenya.
Our Motto is: "BRIDGING THE GAP."